Kolkata: Kolkata Tram is one of the few historic entities without which Calcutta, the first capital of British India, cannot be pictured. It has witnessed the city’s uphill journey from the rebellious Calcutta to the peaceful Kolkata.
The oldest operating public transport in Asia, Kolkata Tram has been on the run since 1867, through modifications.The West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) has now taken another initiative to popularise trams, a heritage transport system, to be found only in Kolkata in the country.
People would soon be able to take trams on lease to set up restaurants and organise weddings. WBTC expects the romantic charm of trams to make these ventures popular. Expressions of interest have been invited by the corporation. Some basic rules have been framed. Non-AC trams would be given on lease.
Two similar projects by WBTC have already been successful, according to WBTC officials. A tram has been converted into a museum and kept at the Esplanade terminus. While one bogey houses the museum, depicting the storied history of trams in Kolkata, the other houses a cafeteria. It has become quite popular.
Another AC trams is being given on lease for birthdays and other events. WBTC, seeing the popularity of its AC buses, plans to introduce more and more AC trams in the city. There are currently 269 trams with the WBTC. Of these, only 45 to 46 are being used daily because of route optimisation. Hence, these extra trams are now being used for non-transport purposes.